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64 Essential Skills of Kamasutra

Be a desirable lover and holistic being in this modern world

By Kamna KirtiPublished 8 months ago 8 min read
Source — Public Domain

Kamasutra is perhaps the most celebrated treatise on love and sex.

It was written in Sanskrit (the literary language of ancient India) by a Hindu scholar Vātsyāyana in the 4th century AD.

Contrary to popular belief, Kamasutra is not a kooky book on sex or positions. It is not a gospel to follow the rules for foreplay and sex.

It is a book which talks about pleasure. It is a book which was way ahead of its times.

Can you imagine a 2000-year-old book that is neither judgmental about gay relationships nor adultery?

Since I got interested in this subject, I promised to educate myself from credible sources and avoid those hideous websites which equate Kamasutra to only sex positions.

The Art of Seduction by Seema Anand helped me navigate this fascinating subject.

Vātsyāyana compiles the '64 skills of Kamasutra' to not only master the art of lovemaking but live a holistic life.

Most of the skills listed were for men since women were not educated in that period. These skills were essential to optimize the sexual energy in a couple.

But what's in store for you?

Some of these skills might help you to have a healthy relationship with your partner rather than just a few seconds of gratification. It is all about having a sexual life with sustained contentment.

The skills vary from the sensual art of perfuming to the weirdest skills of quail and cockfighting.

So get ready to master some of these skills and be a desirable lover.


1–3 - Singing, Playing musical instruments and Dancing

As per Kamasutra, these 3 skills are super important to keep lovemaking and Sringara Rasa (erotic and romantic emotions) interesting.

Just like Eros - the Greek god of love, Kamadeva - was the Hindu god of love and desire.

Mythology says that when Lord Shiva incinerated Kamadeva, his job of singing and dancing was given to Apsaras (celestial nymphs) and Gandharvas (celestial musicians) to maintain feelings of sensual desire.


4 - Drawing

A skill for a man to make her lover feel special. Men were taught to make portraits of their female lovers during foreplay.

A common strategy for psychologically conquering a stubborn lover was to decorate the walls with pictures of yourself.


5 - Cutouts made from leaf, paper or peels

Leaves and papers were used to make ornaments for women.

Another use of paper was to make bird cutouts and play games with shadow puppets - a great way to communicate with your lover using sign language.


6–7 - Adorning an idol with rice powder and flowers

Adorning the love God Kamadeva with rice powder and garlands was a way to revere God and seek his blessings.


8 - The body was rubbed with different colored pastes for different occasions

Body fragrance and body beautification were essential skills of Kamasutra.

In ancient India, sandalwood and exotic spice, including saffron with milk, were used to rub the breasts and cleavage. In fact, women still use saffron at traditional Hindu weddings.

The feet were painted with red lac (a natural red dye extract).


9 and 10 - Decorating Floors and Bed Arrangements

The ambiance played an important role in the lovemaking experience.

From decorated floors to beautiful low-lying bed arrangements, each detailing was well looked after to have a heavenly sexual experience.


11 and 12 - Playing musical bowls filled with water and water squirting games

In ancient India, musical bowls were made up of pure copper. The water-filled bowls produced sounds of vibrations that were beyond the range of the human ear. However, one could sense the vibrations of the music.

The water squirting activities were related to the love god Kamadeva and the famous festival of Hindus- Holi.


13 - Manicures

During lovemaking, scratching enhances the sexual experience.

And so nails had to be shaped and cleaned.

Oh, wait - nail art, which has been one of the fads in modern times, was also a sign of sensuality and beauty.


14 - Preparing perfumes

Kamasutra advises just not to dab each body part with a different fragrance. To achieve a superior orgasmic state, let the scent sit and absorb in your body.

Khus(the smell of the first rain falling on scorching hot soil) was used in hair.

Musk was used on the belly button.

Akund(crown flower) was sprinkled on the waist.


15,16 - Making dresses and garlands

The garlands of Kadamba and Amarnath flowers, which have sexual overtones, were used in the lovemaking experience.


17,18 and 19 - Head ornaments, ear ornaments and other jewelry

Certain jewelry was worn for particular days or particular sexual positions.

Women wore jingling girdles for supreme sexual experience.


20,21,22 - Magic, charms, mantras and conjuring tricks

Magic and conjuring tricks were part of foreplay and were used as a source of entertainment at dinner parties.

Mantras were chanted for full sexual arousal.


23,24 - cooking and preparing drinks

Where do you think this old saying has come from - the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

Nourishing and aphrodisiac food was a must for complete arousal. Dinner was advised after foreplay and sex, as dinner before sex would consume all the energy in digesting the food.


25,26,27 - Needlework, lacemaking and plaiting cane baskets

Needlework and lacemaking were used to make undergarments, corsets, clothing for men or designs with crochet.

Cane baskets were plaited for lovemaking.


28 - Art of playing the veena and drums

Music played an important role in the art of seduction but stringed instruments like Veena enhanced the mood and sexual energy.


29,30,31,32,33,34,34,36 - Completing quotations, riddles, developing the memory, alternate reciting of texts, puns, knowledge of the dictionary

Intelligence is the most attractive skill to be a desirable lover. All these activities would break the monotony.


37,38 - Storytelling, quoting the classics in answering questions

Playing mind games, being a great conversationist and storyteller were signs of being sexually attractive


39 and 40 - Woodwork and metallurgy

The Kamasutra skill varies from learning music and dance to woodwork and metallurgy. Weird right?

But this skill was used to make sex toys like dildos. The sexiest dildos were made up of wood or metal.


41 - Vastu

Vastu is an ancient Indian science of architecture. It is believed that if the home setup is done according to Vastu, it will bring prosperity, peace and wealth.

Kamasutra says that when a bedroom was arranged according to Vastu, it would boost your sexual energy.


42 - Knowledge of stones and gems

The study of gemology helped men understand the gems extracted from the deep earth, the energy they carried and which type of stone would suit an individual.


43–45 - Astrology, mixing metals and interpreting omens

The movement of planets around the sun was used to determine good or bad omens in an individual's life. In fact, many people in India still visit astrologers.

The understanding was that reading omens might tell you about auspicious and inauspicious days for having sex.


46 - Breeding trees and plants

A tree's growth was directly proportional to the growth in love and relationship. Healthy trees and plants were also used for medicinal and ornamental purposes.


47 - Quail and cockfighting

One of the strangest Kamasutra skills. This was practiced in gatherings and parties where lovers would meet, mingle and entertain themselves.


48 - Teaching mynahs and parrots to talk

Just like ravens used to carry messages in western culture, parrots and mynahs did the same in ancient India.

Parrots and mynahs were companions to Kamadeva and carried messages to the beloved even during the war.


49 - Massage

The love text talks of 24 erotic nerves that run through the human body and cause sexual arousal.

These nerves start in different body parts - eyes, cheeks, armpits and lower back but eventually end up in the genitals.

Massaging helped stimulate the erotic nerves.


50,51,52 - Sign language, foreign languages and regional languages

To seduce companions while traveling, one needed these skills.


53 - Decorating chariots


54 - Fabricating machines

To run a proper household was a great sign of a desirable lover. Knowing how to raise water and proper home functioning were important skills for men.


55, 56 - Poetic Metre, verses

Poems were and still are one of the most sensual ways of communication between lovers. Reading verses together helped to grow intimacy and energy between partners.


57 - Arts of cheating

As I said, Kamasutra as a book was way ahead of its times. And so, it was less judgmental about adultery.

Vātsyāyana actually devotes a whole chapter to "acute instructions to the man who wishes to commit adultery, detailing hundreds of stratagems by which he may sleep with the wives of other men."


58 - Disguise

This was an interesting concept in Kamasutra. You would wear dark clothes on a moonless night and white clothes on a full moon night.


59 - Gaming


60 and 61 - Game of chess, children's games

Playing brain games like chess, riddles, or conundrums was extremely important. Intelligence was and is still the sexiest attribute in a lover.

Children's games like hide and seek would avoid boredom and create more excitement between lovers.


62 - Good manners


63 - Arthashastra

Arthashastra is an ancient Indian treatise. It is written in Sanskrit, which mainly talks about politics and economics.

For a man to be a desirable lover, he should understand money. Nobody was interested in a broke lover.


64 - Physical exercise

To be physically fit and have better stamina was of supreme importance. Nobody would want a lover who coughed or breathed heavily during sex.


Which is your favorite Kamasutra skill? What would you like to practice to enhance your mood and sexual energy?

I'd go first. We love our storytelling and poem sessions in which we would continue to break the monotony and try to have sustained contentment.


References: The Art of Seduction by Seema Anand


My next ebook ‘10 Paintings to See Before You Die’ is out.

This book curates the 10 most famous paintings for art history lovers who wish to dig deeper and analyze art and artists.

sexual wellness

About the Creator

Kamna Kirti

Art enthusiast. I engage with art at a deep level. I also share insights about entrepreneurship, founders & nascent technologies.

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